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Friday, May 27, 2016

4'33"






I still remember when a student, eons ago, I had to choose a poem and to comment it with my Italian Literature teacher.

In my (early) oblomovism, instead of choosing a lengthy poem, I choose an haiku-like short, minimal poem by Giuseppe Ungaretti: “Mattino”.



“Mattino: m’illumino d’immenso” (transl. Morning: I enlighten in immensity)

The poem itself is a timeless look at the miracle that every morning happens, again and again and again…

Explaining the deep meaning, the life, the mystery… well… I got a lesson, at school: a (good) short thing – i.e. a poem, in this very case, can be worth a book.

I applied this on many aspects of my life… a love can last a day or one hour, but can be as deep and perfect and satisfying as a distract life-long thing…  a 1,30’ tune by – say – Bert Jansch, i.e. – the superb Bright New Year comes to my mind, owns such a dignity and beauty well worth a symphony.

4’33”

John Cage’s seminal piece of “music”, the so-called silence piece where embarrassed audience coughs and snoozes and breathes nervously while the musician on the stage, most likely a pianist, looks at an empty music sheet, turning the pages of the only-pauses written music.



I recently read a few millimeters thick booklet by Leonardo Vittorio Arena, titled "La durata infinita del non suono" on Mimesis Eterotopie (2013) which, like it happened in my teens with above mentioned Ungaretti’s haiku, dissected and commented and deepened the John Cage’s piece, giving it an historic and cultural contestualization.



Learning from the well-informed author about the wabi and wabito, wu-wei and no action, Zen and music interactions, well… I fell so, SO enriched, folks…

To some extent, this very booklet represented a sort-of epiphany for yours truly!

I found cleverly and clearly expressed in written form “how” life facts and perceptions work… no less… in Ozu's spirit.

A nugget: the best EUR 4,90 I ever spent!   

I strongly suggest everyone wishing to understand, to search for this booklet… silence will not be the same, anymore. 

… forgetting: only in Italian:-)




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